Explore innovative approaches to water supply in Jordan, one of the world’s driest countries and a location facing increased water needs due to climate change and a growing population that includes Syrian refugees.

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  • Gain an introduction to basic principles of water supply, delivery, and shortage in Jordan, with a focus on innovative responses both at the local community and regional levels.

    Learn about the challenges of agriculture in arid lands and gain firsthand knowledge about appropriate technologies for sustainable water use and treated wastewater reuse.

  • Learn from experts at government and academic institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and local communities. 

    You’ll hear from experts at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation; the Water, Energy, Environment Center at Jordan University; the Royal Scientific Society’s National Energy Research Center; and the Hashemite Fund for Development of Jordan Badia. In a field-study context, you will learn from local engineers, community groups, and policy-makers about emerging resilient practices, ideas for water shortage and supply, and long-term stability.

  • Visit Zaatari and/or Azraq refugee camps and study water hygiene and distribution and the impact of refugees on water use and availability.

    The program explores the interplay of small and large scale technologies, using the refugee population as a lens to better understand innovation that works for a region already running dry.

  • Gain unique insights to water challenges through visits to the Valley of Jordan, the Dead Sea, water treatment plants, sustainable agriculture sites, and Bedouin communities in the Badia.

    During the summer of 2013, temperatures rose and pipes ran dry. Protests sprang up throughout northern Jordan. Now Jordan is developing innovative approaches to water shortages, storage, and supply, including large-scale aquifer projects and new and old technologies for rainwater catchments and greywater treatment.

  • Participate in a small-scale innovative project addressing a water shortage problem in an informal camp or village near Amman.

    You’ll collaborate with water engineers and Jordanian communities to explore innovative responses to water needs, including domestic needs for health and hygiene, urban gardening, and education in water management.

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    Explore partnerships with refugee women’s and community groups on the frontline of water shortages.

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    Experience different perspectives on water scarcity and resource management during homestays in Amman and with a Bedouin family in the desert.

Critical Global Issue of Study

Development | Economy | Inequality

Development | Economy | Inequality

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None. Students with an interest in engineering, economics, development, and/or environmental studies are especially encouraged to apply.

Key Topics of Study


Key Topics of Study

  • Old and new technologies to address water shortages, storage, and supply
  • The effects of larger refugee populations on a region already running dry
  • Basic principles of water supply, delivery, and shortage in Jordan
  • Emerging resilient practices, ideas, and long-term stability.
  • Local innovations to address water needs




Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Water – syllabus
(ILAB3030 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
An interdisciplinary course that introduces students to the basic principles of water supply, delivery, and shortage in Jordan, with a focus on innovative responses at grassroots and regional levels. Students will engage in a hands-on project with a community organization to explore innovative responses to water needs, which could include domestic needs for health and hygiene, urban gardening, or education in water management.




Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Arid Lands

villageExcursions and site visits include the Valley of Jordan, the Dead Sea, water treatment plants, and sustainable agriculture sites. You will also learn about the local and regional issues of arid countries, how the supply (or lack thereof) of resources affects internal and regional dynamics, and the organizations and efforts underway to resolve these issues. You will also learn about the challenges of agriculture in arid lands and technologies for sustainable water use and treated wastewater reuse.

You may also visit the Dana Nature Reserve and the Royal Botanic Garden.

Filling buckets at a well view images full screen

Faculty and Staff


Faculty and Staff

Raed Al-Tabini, PhD, Academic Director

Raed al-tabiniRaed holds a PhD in arid and semi-arid land management (rangeland management) and community development from Newcastle University in the UK. He is a former deputy president of the Badia Research and Development Center (BRDC) in Jordan and has managed a variety of development projects in the Middle East and North Africa on such diverse topics as community-based rangeland rehabilitation, management of scarce water resources, and development of sustainable livelihoods in agro-pastoral communities. Raed is a frequent presenter at international conferences and has published more than 25 academic papers and reports in the field of sustainable development. Raed co-wrote with Octavio A. Ramirez, Richard Phillips, and Frank A. Ward an article, “Irrigation Water Conservation and Market-based Approaches: Balancing Agricultural and Urban Water Demands in the Face of Climate Change in Jordan’s Azraq Basin,” published in Adaptation to Climate Change through Water Resources Management: Capacity, Equity and Sustainability (Routledge, 2014). Raed is director of the Hashemite Fund for Development of Jordan Badia.




The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.


homestayYou will live for three weeks with a family in the modern capital city of Amman. The homestay offers an outstanding window into Jordanian urban life and culture. Most homestay families are middle class and enjoy high standards of living while maintaining the customs of a typical Arab home. You will be integrated into your host family’s daily life, partaking in everyday activities such as sharing breakfast, participating in family outings, and shopping. You may even experience a Jordanian wedding ceremony or other traditional cultural activities.

Cost and Scholarships


Cost and Scholarships

SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students. 

SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.


Tuition: $4,750

The tuition fee covers the following program components:

  • Cost of all lectures
  • All field visits and educational excursions to locations such as the Valley of Jordan, the Dead Sea, water treatment plants, the Dana Nature Reserve, and the Royal Botanic Garden
  • Health insurance throughout the entire lab period

Room & Board: $1,225

The room and board fee covers the following program components:

  • All accommodations during the entire lab period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Amman), on all excursions, and during the evaluation period.
  • All homestays (Amman and the Badia area)
  • All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered by SIT Study Abroad, directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.

Estimated Additional Costs:

International Airfare to Program Launch Site

International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.

Visa Expenses: $ 60

Immunizations: Varies

Books & Supplies: $300

International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.

Discretionary Expenses

Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.

Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.

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Speak With An Admissions Counselor

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